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Presenter Profile: Molecular Integration of Amino Acid and Fat Metabolism in Health and Metabolic Disease


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2024 Presenter Profiles

Molecular Integration of Amino Acid and Fat Metabolism in Health and Metabolic Disease

Monday, June 24, at 8:00 a.m. ET
Room W304 E-H
Orange County Convention Center

Amino Acid Signaling and Glucose Regulation

Phillip J. White, PhD
Phillip J. White, PhD

Phillip J. White, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine,
Duke Molecular Physiology Institute

What is your presentation about?
The levels of a specific cluster of five amino acids, made up of the branched-chain amino acids, leucine, isoleucine, and valine, as well as the aromatic amino acids, tyrosine and phenylalanine, are among the strongest metabolite-based predictors of future development of type 2 diabetes in people. My presentation is about our work to uncover the molecular regulatory nodes that connect perturbed amino acid homeostasis to impairments in glucose control. I will describe our finding that a regulatory protein in amino acid metabolism acts as a rheostatic integrator of translational activity to coordinate the cellular responses to glucose and protein misfolding signals in the pancreatic Beta-cell.

How do you hope your presentation will impact diabetes research or care?
Our work highlights the complexity of metabolism and the molecular regulatory networks that integrate the many signals governing metabolic homeostasis. It is difficult to know which fundamental discoveries will impact care, but our hope is that research projects stemming from human observations, such as the association of amino acid levels with diabetes risk will provide new understanding of the etiology of the disease that might someday help the American Diabetes Association’s mission to improve care and health outcomes for people with or at risk of developing diabetes.

How did you become involved with this area of diabetes research or care?
I was extremely fortunate to have the support of the American Diabetes Association in the form of a Pathways to Stop Diabetes Initiator Award in 2016. This funding mechanism provided the resources for me to launch my lab at Duke University with the research theme of uncovering the mechanisms connecting amino acid signaling to metabolic homeostasis. This has been an incredibly fruitful line of investigation, and I am tremendously grateful to the ADA for their investment in our work in this space.

Register Today for the 84th Scientific Sessions

Join us in Orlando for the 84th Scientific Sessions, June 21-24. Full in-person registration includes access to all of the valuable onsite content during the meeting and on-demand access to the virtual program June 25-Aug. 26. For those unable to join us in-person, we are planning a virtual program to allow as many people as possible to participate and learn about the latest advances in diabetes research, prevention, and care.